:rolleyes:You asked for it, Shelli:D
I used to teach British and Comparative lit at Princeton, then met a lovely Scot, threw it all over and married him, moved up here to Toronto where he teaches at U of Toronto, had 3 babies . . . I wanted to stay at home with them too and, in those days, U of T didn't hire spouses. I've been tutoring my daughters and their friends for years and years, working in the public schools as a volunteer, etc.
My youngest developed panic attacks in G9, then depression, anxiety disorder and OCD. As I understand it, there's a range of anxiety-related problems, and OCD is the worst. So I've been coping with the Cognitive Behavior Therapy thing for many years. Alex's obsession is that she might hurt someone, or some animal--her compulsive behavior is that she must remain frightened of the idea because, if the idea of harming someone doesn't horrify her, she might actually do it. Needless to say, she's the gentlest, most responsible of people, and has never hurt a fly--but as you know, with OCD this doesn't matter.
Long story short, once she entered University of Toronto and began to thrive, I had a few minutes to myself, and decided to try tutoring. Naturally, people with no problems don't seek tutors, so I've got some high-schoolers with anxiety problems, a few math/science whizzes who never learned to write, one dislexic, and half a dozen Chinese/Japanese/Korean university students who are still stuggling with the written language. Some students want meetings, some want to work exclusively online, and some want a combination of both. So I've got a study/workroom in the basement (ugly but MINE) where I can tutor and sew at the same time!! I've discovered audiobooks, which help a lot, since I can't figure out how to read and sew at the same time.:rolleyes:
Sorry to ramble on so much, but it's lovely to be asked!!
You know, I'd like to know how collectors got started. WHY do people collect things??
If one collects dolls or teddies, I guess it might be an attempt at going back to a simpler time . . . childhood. If it's stamps, matchbook covers, coins, etc. - I don't know. Anybody want to comment??
Wow I'm a little late joining in here... and may miss some points that I thought of as I was reading... but here goes
Hello, my name is Laura and I'm addicted to making teddy bears! Seriously If I haven't worked on a bear for over a couple of days... I really get grouchy!
Secondly..... I just LOVE these forums as it is the only way to connect every day with other bear people like me . And as for when the talk gets "OT"... I don't mind myself... I think of everyone on these forums as my friends... and that's just part of getting to know everone
Shelli you made some wonderful statements that were VERY well put!
Judi, I hear ya on the icing! I get a kind of "high" from bear making that is sometimes a substitute for sweets. I can't eat sugar either... but mine is hypoglycemia... which isn't nearly as involved at diabetes. Sending warm hugz your way!
My favorite part of bearmaking...hmmm.... depends on time of day and my mood! If I'm quite awake and full of energy.. I LOVE creating their faces and see them come to life! I know we use that phrase quite often... but it's SO true! In the evenings when I'm sitting in the living room with my family.. I love to sew on footpads. I used to enjoy basting also then.. but now that I do most of that with staples (go ahead, laugh )- the basting goes super fast (except the head and footpads - those I still baste with needle & thread)
And why I collect? Cause it makes me smile . Hubby just started collecting diecast 1/50 scale cranes (even more expensive than my bears!) and now he understands why I collect bears
Don't laugh...but....because I live in the middle of a forest about a gazillion miles from any REAL store, my favorite part is when UPS comes with an order from Intercal and Edinburgh. It's like Chistmas and Birthdays rolled together. Looking at the new fabrics, feeling them, smelling them, looking at the nose threads or the upholstery threads....checking out the eyes. I even get excited about the different size discs. That first opening of the box gets my mind going on ideas, what the bear looks like that I see in the fabric. My honey thinks I crazy because now all the fabric I order is white-cuz I get a kick out of dyeing my own shades of color. He should be used to this, I did it with quilting too. Opening the box is the first step to the creating of a new wonderful critter.
Thank you for such a wonderful web site.....one stop fun....shoping and talking.......
PS I bet you all see a bear in your fabric too-Michelangelo saw his creations in the marble before he ever started working at chipping away.
Me too. :lol:The experience is still newish. Don't like paying duty, though.
I'm so glad you mentioned Michelangelo's marble, Dilu. Hubs/kids don't understand why I need all this stuff, when I've got only 3 in the works so far, including one prototype.
But I'm finding that I like to sort through my collection of furs/fabrics and go through all my realbear pix, my stock of eyes, leathers, assorted other stuff--and another bear appears in my head.
Whenever I do this, of course, I also find myself wanting more stuff!
Well, Of course we need all the supplies possible that we could ever really use, because you just never know.....the eyes might need to be larger, or smaller, if you don't have them you wont be able to experiment....
I'm lucky, my honey does understand....he says it's cheaper that therapy, barely, and keeps me out of trouble.
My dad was an artist, painting, and he always had tons of stuff on hand. Maybe I come by this honestly.
HA, Dilu . . . am glad to meet another artist that has more than she needs! Bet I'm going to win, though, because I have - who only knows how much - a gazillion yards of mohair stashed in every corner of space in my house. And boxes and boxes of ribbons and accessories; and waaaaayyy too many pair of eyes - and the supply list goes on, on, on, on!! You know that "Whoever dies with the most (insert fabric, mohair, toys, whatever), WINS"!!
I have several favorite parts of bearmaking and hard to choose which one is the very best. I really enjoying airbrushing and then putting the bear together and bringing him/her to life.
But I think my most favorite is when I get a message, note, phone call from a collector and they say, "This is the bear my heart's been waiting for" .. or " I am in Love with this bear" ... These words make my heart swell with pride and a sense of accomplishment. All those late night hours and pin pricks are then well worth it.
The last few comments on this thread really struck a nerve for me. It brought back one of the most meaningful encounters I have had since joining the 'bearworld'. Several years ago I was at a show and a young woman (in her twenties) came by with her mother. They stopped at my table and we had a great chat about one of my bears the young woman was admiring. They came by three or four times during the show and they always picked up the same bear and I could tell the daughter was really "bonding" with that little bear. Well, just before the show ended they came back and the daughter bought the bear. After the sale, the mother came back to me and told me how happy she was that her daughter found a bear she loved so much. She explained that the daughter had been battling agoraphobia for several years and that coming to the bear show was a very big step for her. She was beaming and said that finding my bear had made her daughter's outing such a happy one -- she was sure that it would help her make more trips into the outside world. When I begin to wonder why I'm doing what I'm doing I just have to think about that -- and I know why.
What a great story Donna. I am sure that will stay with you forever.:)
I often save the comments from emails, and letters that I have recieved from bear mommies who have adopted a bear from me. One of my own bears sent me a Christmas card last year! I loved it. Another lady emailed me to tell me she cried when she took the bear out of the box, she loved her teddy.
Just knowing the affect our bears can have on people's emotions really make it all worth while.
As far as stashes of supplies...can we ever have too much mohair or supplies? I have tons on hand 'cause I never know what mood will strike me next and I had better have the right stuff!!!:lol:
often save the comments from emails, and letters that I have recieved from bear mommies who have adopted a bear from me. One of my own bears sent me a Christmas card last year!
Among all my other "business" binders -- sales, patterns, inspiration/ideas, "How-To", taxes (ugh), etc. -- I have a binder I even entitled "A Bit of Kindness" along the spine. In it, I keep printouts of sweet emails, praises from fellow bear makers and happy collectors, so that when I'm feeling overwhelmed or having a bad day or in some other way need a little "boost" I can look back and see how I've touched people and how my work has inspired or warmed, and that's just a wonderful thing.
I also received an "email" from one of my bears that currently resides in France, and even got to see a photo of where he lives in his new home, beside a number of other beautiful bears and the very antique curio that houses them. Fun!
Donna, is that really you?
I wish I had taken advantage of living next door to you to see all the things you do. When you told me you were doing bears I didn't get it.
I get it now.
Boy, do I ever.
Thank you for sharing your story. It is really good to hear from you on this board.
PS Hope you are doing well up there.
Diane -- It's great to hear from you! Darn, I didn't realize you were into bears, too. We might have had some bear making sessions together. :D
Things haven't changed much here. We are beginning our yearly battle with the weeds -- some are reaching to our knees, so garden work will soon be calling. Living on a hilltop with 7 acres really keeps hubby busy, as you know.
What a small world,
(Blink, blink and wipe a tear) I have had very similar happenings with my bears. To see how excited and happy the collectors are when they latch onto that special teddy bear is indescribeable and very moving.
Shelli, I keep all my notes and cards from collectors too, but haven't gotten them organized into an album yet. Your post has me adding that job to my list of things to do.
Thanks for the nudge.
If you send me your address I'll send you one of my teddy bear pins.
When I lived on Indian Springs I wasn't into Teds, but now I wish I had been. I just started about a year ago, and have been going full tilt since then. The learning curve was fast, probably because of all the other types of sewing.
And they are soooo addicting. I now design my own, along with Gollys. I haven't gotten into the elaborate face sculpting that our other friends on this site do....wow!
I really wish I had taken advantage of living next door to you. I am sure I would have learned so very much. I could just kick myself.
Every thing is fine up here-we found a little monolithic dome home, that looks like an igloo, in the middle of the forest up here and have setteled down for good. I'm sure you remember how reclusive Rick is...well he's finally happy now.
I'm glad you are doing well. I hope to get to go to the Lincoln show; will you be there? If so, I look forward to seeing you again.
PS Let me guess, the news is saying; "It's the worst fire season ever!"
Yep, that's the one. It will be my first teddy bear show ever. I can hardly wait. I am imagining a show along the lines of a quilt show. Is that right? I am crossing my fingers I can make it. ( It sort of depends on my honey.)
I guess we could all wear "TEDDY TALK!" name tags and find each other that way.
I would love to have one of your pins. I'm not sure of all the rules about posting addresses here on the forum, but if you go to my website by clicking below you can get my P.O. box from the contact page.
It sounds like you have a nice quiet environment to work in. If you're near Lincoln City I really envy you!. I love that area. Unfortunately I am not going to be able to do that show this year. Pooh! I missed it last year, too, as I was going to the Schaumberg, Il. show a week or so before. This year I am only doing a few shows, so I will have to miss it again. I think you will really like it. It is a very friendly show with a great group -- hope you can hook up with Winny and have a blast!
By the way, I would love to see your Gollys -- they're a favorite of mine. I have made a few, mostly as companion pieces for bears. One of my most fun pieces was a bear wearing Golly slippers and also holding a Golly.
You are kidding!!! Gollys are what got me started. I played the Gollywog's Cakewalk on the piano for a friend here and she lent me some of her teddy bear magazines. I was in love at first sight. After seeing a golly I sat down and figured out a basic pattern and went to work. Then my friend invited me to join her loose affilation of bear ladies, and I ordered some super cheap, coat type, mohair to start out with. I think I paid $12.00/yd. Then she said to try Edinburgh. But she doesn't use the computer. Well, while looking for Edinburgh I found Intercal. So Intercal got my first order.
The ladies around here seem to be Schulte Snobs. I tease them about that anyway, because they wont use anything but. But when I bring in some of the Hembold they can't tell the differance. I haven't the heart to tell them that they mistook the Hembold for Schulte. And they keep asking how I get the fur to look like the Norton. I keep telling them " get on line" but they wont...
Any way long story not too much longer that's how I got started. Once I discovered bears and Gollys I quit quilting; I use the left over fat quarters for Golly clothing now. I will try to scan some of my Golly pics to e-mail you.
Bears are like almost instant gratification. As apposed to quilts.
We are just barely over the boarder; but it is still Oregon, and still a ton of trees. We get 65" of rain a year. Big change from Oakhurst.
I'll get your address off your website tomarrow and see if I can send you some pics. By the way I did see you in Teddy Bear and Friends winning a Toby ? award of some kind? Congrats.
Who knew we were so close for so long and had so much in common? I am also a long-time quilter. I have two cupbords filled with quilting fabric that is used almost exclusively for bear clothes nowadays.
I regret to say that music is not one thing we have in common. When I had to take a piano class in college I was so bad I'm sure the instructor gave me a "pity-pass" I guess I was at the end of the line when musical ability was being passed out.
Laura, unfortunately I won't be in Schaumberg this year. I hope to make it again, as I had a great time there last Oct. (Maybe next year!) I am really scaling back my shows this year and the only other show I'm doing for the rest of the year is Linda's in San Diego. (My sis lives near there -- so it makes a great excuse to visit.)